The OGC warns city official not to bite the hand, Curry, that feeds him (draft)

I am another story like this away from getting a digital subscription to the Times Union. They have come a long way in a short amount of time.


Christopher Hong broke a story about how two top lieutenants in the Curry administration, cryptically referring to themselves as the family tried to strong arm the director of the Kids Hope Alliance, and how a member of the office of general council had a rather disturbing reaction to it.


This is the set up, from the Times Union


In a detailed memo he emailed to his executive team last September, Kids Hope Alliance CEO Joe Peppers said Mayor Lenny Curry’s two highest ranking officials told him to give certain grant applicants “preferential treatment.”
In the waning hours of a Saturday night last September, the CEO of the Jacksonville Kids Hope Alliance typed on his smartphone a memo leveling an explosive allegation: Mayor Lenny Curry’s office was exerting “undue influence” on him to give preferential treatment to a hand-picked group of organizations that would soon seek grant money from the city agency.
This is the city attorney’s reaction, also from the Times Union. 
Peppers shared some of his concerns with Lawsikia Hodges, an attorney with the city’s office of general counsel, after his meeting with Mousa and Hughes. She instructed him to “not make a big deal” about it, according to the memo.
“She stated that the $350k was insignificant compared to the $32 mm we received and that I shouldn’t ‘openly question the mayor.’ That I shouldn’t ‘bite the hand that feeds me,‘” he wrote, referencing the total amount of the grant program and the $32 million KHA received from the city that year. “I didn’t tell her about my conversation with Brian and Sam, but I did ask what I should do if I felt like I was under undue influence. She said ‘we will cross that bridge if we get to it.’”
That is for $#%^s sake on so many levels.
First 350k is nothing? See how much they care about the tax payers money? Well I guess it is compared to the hundreds of millions the city is trying to extort out of the school district on behalf of charters.
Then it makes it seem like she was blase about it, that it happens all the time and it has happened at least one other time when the mayor instructed the Jacksonville Children’s Commission to change its rules to benefit a donor of the mayor.
Worst of all is the bite the hand that feeds you remark because that means that city hall is ruled by fear and not whats right, that employees like the OGC aren’t beholden to rule of law or decency and instead are beholden to their boss. Do it his way or don’t let the door hit you on the way out and friends that’s no way to run a city. No way to run a decent one anyways.
Friends we are not being led we are being ruled. 

One Reply to “The OGC warns city official not to bite the hand, Curry, that feeds him (draft)”

  1. Seriously who didn't see this coming? Lenny calls it business as usual while the law defines it as fraud, waste, and abuse. What do you expect when people dont even know the meaning of the word "shall"…amirite? Joe Peppers thinks he was brought on for his integrity while Zahn thinks he was brought on for his unique insights? Marinate on this.

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